In a game like football, it is hard to not compare starkly similar career-paths. The hope that a freshly blooming talent will replicate what legends before them have achieved oh so brilliantly fuels the desire that promising prospects hold.
While this has always been the case with players, as of recent, it seems apparent that managerial positions may also be held to similar comparisons.
The Premier League’s latest gaffer is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who takes over from the sacked Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.
The Norwegian is not new to the Theatre of Dreams, having won its hearts as a player. This is starkly similar to the career of Pep Guardiola, who now manages Manchester United’s rivals Manchester City, and had intriguing things to say about Solskjaer.
According to Sky Sports, Guardiola remarked: “When a manager like Solskjaer has this chance [it is] because the club decides he can do it. It happened in my case quite similar, we were young and had the opportunity to try to do our best.”
Guardiola’s period of success arrived at Barcelona, where he had initially taken over in 2008 to lead the side to one of their finest periods of success in the modern era, if not the best.
Guardiola added: “Of course they are different jobs, so you cannot compare football player as a manager. I wish him all the best.
“The fact I was there since 13 years old, you know the club that is an advantage for sure. Knowing the people and knowing how it works everything there is important. Something positive comes from the fact you were there in the past and you know many things of the club.”
These were sentiments that were echoed by Solskjaer himself in his first press conference: “I’ve been here as a player, 11 years, coach three and a half years, best part 15 years of my life, it’s a third of my life, I’m getting old but it’s one of them that’s life, that was the same when I signed as a player. It feels like home.”